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Question about career guidance.

  1. Jan 30, 2012 #1
    Hello, I'm currently 21 years old and have a question regarding a career in physics. I have made it through high school with decent grades, and spent most of my time playing video games, and not focusing a lot on education and not having parents who didn't want to tell me how to live my life and guide me a little. I'm tired of doing nothing and playing boring video games. After a couple years of maturing and becoming a the past atheist the past two years, I have realize how amazing and the universe and every little thing is fascinating. I can't stop watching documentaries and lectures online, and would love to spend my life understanding this how all of this really works than playing games and what not.

    I would love to make it my career, or just love to just do it as a hobby. I'm curious if anything could help guide me on what I would need to do..I'm going to start teaching myself geometry and then work my way up to precalculus and so on...

    I know I should of done a lot better and realize that I wanted to do this earlier in life, and I'm honestly 100% serious in putting hard time and patients into learning everything that I can..thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2012 #2
    Don't stop completely, by playing video games you are advancing the field of computational astrophysics. If you stop, then the field will grind to a halt.

    It's might be good idea if you take a few courses. Also, if you start trying to *program* video games and can start understanding how all of that works, this gets you quickly into the field of computational astrophysics.

    Now as for why it's a bad idea for you to stop playing video games. Right now, a lot of astrophysics research depends on you playing video games. The problem is that supercomputers are frighteningly expensive to develop, and there are not enough scientist to justify spending tens of billions of dollars to develop new computer chips.

    That's where you come in...... By playing the latest video games, you fund R&D that goes into creating new computer chips which then get used for scientific calculations, and if you want to do some programming on your own....

  4. Feb 8, 2012 #3
    Well I was planning on working on pre calculus and start reading the books about the fundamentals of physics and plan on starting to read about classical mechanics. I've been currently reading back over my high school math courses, and I'm really dedicated to wanting to have a career in physics(mostly astrophysics), but wanting to learn as much as I can.

    Any suggestions on what I can do to make sure that I'm doing everything correctly and hoping I can make some life changing decisions. I'm tired of doing nothing but the same old stuff everyday such as playing games and hanging out doing absolutely nothing. I hope maybe someone can guide me into the correct way since I'm in a very small town in NC and since I have hardly any friends who are interested in most of the stuff that I am.


    edit: If you think that it's to late, and I'm wasting my time and should decide to do something else, 100% honesty is a good thing! thanks a lot guys.
  5. Feb 9, 2012 #4
    Nice to see your thoughts. well the formula of life should be straight . If you like something then simply go for that and enjoy as much as you can. A time will come when you will feel bore by doing the same thing. Good luck for the future.
  6. Feb 9, 2012 #5
    Heh thanks for the reply, at least someone had an opinion.
  7. Feb 9, 2012 #6
    It helps if you define "career in physics" extremely broadly. I managed to end up with a "career in astrophysics" working for an oil company and then a bank.

    I'm sure that there are other people on the internet that are the same way. You just need to find them. One thing that's important is to find "like minded people."

    The other thing is don't be a afraid of making mistakes. It's part of the learning process.

    The cool thing about physics is that anything that you learn could be applied to something else. Learning calculus and basic physics is going to open up a lot of doors. Also, one useful way of getting into this is to start *designing* video games. Most first person shooters have a ton of physics in them....

    see http://www.olafurandri.com/nyti/papers2008/Evolution of Physics in Video Games.pdf

    You can think of modern theoretical physics as a "real video game."
  8. Feb 10, 2012 #7
    As a small town boy myself I never had any friends that were interested in computer science and math, but I never let my interest in sciences, solely comprise me as an individual. So I spent my alone time pursuing my interests and the rest of the time with my friends getting into trouble, cursing, talking trash, even playing video games...needless to say sometimes it does get boring just hanging out doing nothing, but that's the great part about being a kid. You on the other hand are an adult and I can see you want to make life changing decisions because by now you realize that playing video games all day will not make you a living unless you are a pro. I would suggest, based on limited knowledge and what you've presented here, in enrolling in community college or university then socialize, meet people that share interests, and learn some stuff, whether it's in class or self-taught.

    Nobody will be able to tell you that you are wasting your time, only you can deem whether you spent your time wisely or not. I've known people that felt their time spent drinking alcohol and acting stupid was time well spent regardless of how anybody else feels about it.
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